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Posted on: September 23, 2008 4:56 pm

My College Football Top 25

1: Southern Cal. Trojans logoSouthern California Trojans (2-0)

2: Georgia Bulldogs logoGeorgia Bulldogs (4-0)

3: Oklahoma Sooners logoOklahoma Sooners (3-0)

4: Florida Gators logoFlorida Gators (3-0)

5: LSU Tigers logoLouisiana Tigers (3-0)

6: Missouri Tigers logoMissouri Tigers (4-0)

7: Texas Longhorns logoTexas Longhorns (3-0)

8: Alabama Crimson Tide logoAlabama Crimson Tide (4-0)

9: Texas Tech Red Raiders logoTexas Tech Red Raiders (4-0)

10: Wisconsin Badgers logoWisconsin Badgers (3-0)

11: BYU Cougars logoBrigham Young Cougars (4-0)

12: South Florida Bulls logoSouth Florida Bulls (4-0)

13: Ohio St. Buckeyes logoOhio State Buckeyes (3-1)

14: Penn St. Nittany Lions logoPenn State Nittany Lions (4-0)

15: Auburn Tigers logoAuburn Tigers (3-1)

16: Wake Forest Demon Deacons logoWake Forest Demon Deacons (3-0)

17: Utah Utes logoUtah Utes (4-0)

18: Kansas Jayhawks logoKansas Jayhawks (3-1)

19: Boise St. Broncos logoBoise State Broncos (3-0)

20: Clemson Tigers logoClemson Tigers (3-1)

21: Illinois Fighting Illini logoIllinois Fighting Illini (2-1)

22: Vanderbilt Commodores logoVanderbilt Commadores (4-0)

23: TCU Horned Frogs logoTexas Christian Horned Frogs (4-0)

24: Colorado Buffaloes logoColorado Buffalos (3-0)

25: Fresno St. Bulldogs logoFresno State Bulldogs (2-1)


Category: NCAAF
Posted on: July 31, 2008 5:25 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2008 5:32 pm

My Take: The Sabathia trade

Everyday, I will asess every major deal done before the Trade Deadline. I start with the Brewers-Indians trade

Milwaukee Brewers Get:

  • C.C. Sabathia/LHP

Cleveland Indians get:



This truly is a hard trade to asess. At first, I thought, if the Brewers don't make the World Series and they cannot re-sign him, they will have lost a great prospect in LaPorta and one average pitching prospect in Bryson, but LaPorta was blocked by many obsticals. Ryan Braun has made leftfield his home in Milwaukee, and the Crew already have a top notch third base prospect named Mat Gamel. Rightfield as well is blocked off but by Corey Hart. The only other option would be firstbase, where a mammoth lies in Prince Fielder. LaPorta is pretty much blocked off in the Brewers organization. Also in the trade was lefty reliever Zach Jackson, who has posted a 1.08 ERA since joining Cleveland's AAA team, the Buffalo Bisons. The other prospect acquired by the Indians was Rob Bryson, who has posted a solid 2.38 ERA since being with Cleveland's Single-A team, the Lake Couty Captains. However, before the Sabathia acquisition, I didn't believe the Brewers could make the playoffs. Thats what puts the Brewers as my winners in this trade. They got last years AL Cy Young award for a Top notch prospect, a career AAAA pitcher and an average pitching prospect. pretty good if you ask me.

Posted on: July 27, 2008 8:11 pm

The O's Trade Deadline

BALBaltimore Orioles

As many know, the O's are 13 games back heading into a a week where trades will be made and teams will be buying more and more talent for the playoff run. The O's have some very nice talent stocked for any team needing either a dominate reliever (George Sherrill), a speedy second baseman (Brian Roberts), or a serious morale booster (Kevin Millar). The O's are in need of a serious boost of youth to turn around an organization which is in a pothole.

The organization has 1/4 of the team turned around, with rising stars Nick Markakis and Adam Jones in the line-up, and catching prospect Matt Wieters in AA Bowie. In the off-season, GM Andy MacPhail made 2 huge moves when he dealt star shortstop Miguel Tejada to the Houston Astros for 5 players and pitching staff ace Erik Bedard to the Seattle Mariners for 5 as well. For Tejada, the O's recieved another good trade chip in left fielder Luke Scott, as well as 4 other young players. Dennis Sarfate was one of the young players, and he has been very good in the middle relief slot all season, posting a 3.78 ERA and a 9.36 K/9. Matt Albers was another part of the deal. He posted a solid 3.49 ERA in 49 innings before he was injured. However, he should be back by late August after rehabbing a torn labrum. They had also one of the best left handed pitching prospects in MLb in Troy Patton, who tore his labrum in Spring Training and should be back next season. The other prospect was third baseman Mike Costanzo who is currently ikn AAA Norfolk.

In the Mariners trade, the O's got reliever George Sherrill, who became an All-Star closer after taking over for Chris Ray, who had Tommy John surgery late last season. Also, the O's got star centerfield prospect Adam Jones, who was hitting around .240 up until about June, when he picked it up and has been around .280 since. Then they got two of the Mariners best pitching prospects, one being stellar prospect Chris Tillman who has mowed down every opponent in the Eastern League of AA. The other is Tony Butler, a young lefty prospect who has been average in Single-A Delmarva. Also in the trade was little known middle relief prospect Kameron Mickolio, who had done good in Bowie and is now in Norfolk.

Currently, the hot names the Orioles possess for trading are George Sherrill and Brian Roberts. It's unlikely that a deal gets worked out for Roberts unless a shortstop or second baseman and Sherrill will not be dealt unless a team wow's Andy MacPhail with a deal that includes a shortstop. However, those are not the only names the O's have that could be good chips. In the starters department, the O's have Daniel Cabrera along with lefty Brian Burres. In the relief department, the O's have lefty specialist Jamie Walker and Grounder specialist Chad Bradford. In the batting department, there is catcher Ramon Hernandez, first baseman Kevin Millar, third baseman Melvin Mora and outfielders Jay Payton and Luke Scott and DH Aubrey Huff. Whatever happens between now and the deadline, the O's will be making a move to become a contender in the future when the prospects become ready to be stars in the majors as Orioles. No matter what position you team needs, the Orioles are bound to have a player that can fit your need well.





Category: MLB
Posted on: June 18, 2008 6:06 am

Brandon Erbe fans 12

Frederick pitcher Brandon Erbe acknowledges he's had his high and low points this season. Tuesday was definitely one of his high points.

The 20-year-old right-hander posted a career-high 12 strikeouts in seven scoreless innings, allowing one hit without any walks to pick up the win as the visiting Keys topped the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 3-1. At one point, he retired 19 batters in a row.

"It was one of those nights where I felt like I had good command of all three pitches [fastball, slider, change]," Erbe said. "I had a mind-set of getting ahead early in the count and making them put the ball in play.

"Pitching is a real learning process," he added. "The biggest thing is learning how to read guys' swings."

This season, Erbe (6-5, 4.23 ERA) has picked up a few tips against Wilmington. He has given up just two runs in 21 innings over three starts against the Blue Rocks in 2008. The last time he faced them June 11, he fanned nine in seven frames.

"They have a lot of good contact hitters and they like to swing early," Erbe added. "They also have some good baserunners, so you make your job much easier if you can keep them off base."

On Tuesday, he surrendered a first-inning single to Chris McConnell, the second Blue Rocks batter of the game, and then retired everyone he faced until he hit Kurt Mertins with two down in the seventh.

"I've had my highs and lows this season, and the biggest thing I'll take away from a game like this is confidence," Erbe said. "When you have confidence, you have trust in yourself and your stuff."

He got offensive support from Brandon Tripp, who went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs for the Keys (1-0).

Jason Godin (2-7) allowed two runs on three hits, fanning two and walking two over 3 1/3 innings to take the loss for the Blue Rocks (0-1).

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 14, 2008 12:37 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2008 12:53 pm

O's reliever Jaime Walker loves the throwback uni


By. Dan Connolly

When Orioles reliever Jamie Walker walked into the home clubhouse yesterday, he was "pumped up."

Walker saw the Orioles' 1979 throwback uniform, the orange stirrups and the cartoon bird hat waiting for him in his locker. It was all part of the Orioles' turn-back-the-clock celebration recognizing the "Orioles Magic" club of 1979, which eventually lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in Game 7 of the World Series.

The Pirates, who began a three-game series with the Orioles last night, haven't been in town for a regular-season or postseason game since Oct. 17, 1979.

"I didn't know we were doing this," said Walker, 35. "To me, this should be our game hat. And I love this jersey; this is one of my favorite jerseys."

It's not the first time Walker has worn the old, cartoon-bird hat.

When he was about 8, he played a baseball-throwing game at a county fair in Tennessee, and he correctly "guessed the speed," on his third pitch. So he was allowed to pick any baseball hat as a prize. He chose the one with the cartoon Oriole, and he wore it everywhere.

"I love that bird," Walker said yesterday, smiling. "Just look at it."

The Orioles wore throwback uniforms yesterday, but the Pirates didn't. Pittsburgh was not an active part of the promotion because the game honored the 1979 Orioles' season and not just the World Series, director of communications Greg Bader said.

"This is a celebration of the birth of Orioles Magic and the 1979 American League Champion Orioles," he said. "While the inspiration for this celebration is the Pirates' return to Baltimore for the first time in 29 years, [Friday's] activities and ceremonies are not meant as a recreation of the '79 World Series."

Remembering the magic

During pre-game festivities, the Orioles honored four former Orioles: Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver; third baseman Doug DeCinces, who hit the game-winning homer that triggered "Orioles Magic"; and the pitchers of record from 1979's Game 7, the Orioles' Scott McGregor and Pittsburgh's Grant Jackson, who also pitched for the Orioles in the 1971 World Series loss to the Pirates. Weaver, who turns 78 in August, received a standing ovation from the Camden Yards crowd.

Afterward, while speaking to reporters, Weaver, in true ex-manager form, defended why he didn't have John Lowenstein bunt in Game 2, which the Orioles eventually lost by a run.

He wasn't the only one reliving those hard-fought games yesterday.

McGregor, who pitched eight strong innings in Game 7 but allowed a two-run, Series-clinching homer to Willie Stargell, talked about the "one bad pitch" he made. But McGregor, who won a World Series ring with the Orioles in 1983, also summed up that magical 1979 season.

"It was a wonderful experience, win, lose or draw," he said.

Millar in lineup

First baseman Kevin Millar, who left Thursday's game in the second inning after fouling a ball off his left kneecap, called Orioles manager Dave Trembley at 10 a.m. yesterday to ask for some time before the manager made up his lineup.

"Oh, I didn't take the call. I screened it," Trembley said. "That would be the last guy I'm talking to."

Still, Trembley listened to the pleas of Millar, who said the knee was swollen but OK, and put him into the lineup in the fifth spot as the designated hitter.

"It feels a lot better than I thought it would," Millar said. "I don't have speed as one of my tools, so it doesn't hurt my speed."

Trachsel update

Right-hander Steve Trachsel was granted release waivers and can become a free agent on Tuesday if he goes unclaimed.

Posted on: June 12, 2008 11:06 am

Brandon Erbe shuts down Wilmington

Brandon Erbe has admittedly been inconsistent at times this season. But he seems to find his groove whenever the Wilmington Blue Rocks are in the opposing dugout.

Erbe struck out a season-high nine over seven hitless innings and combined with two relievers on a one-hitter Wednesday as the Frederick Keys edged the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 3-1, at Harry Grove Stadium.

After plunking Joseph Dickerson with two outs in the opening frame, Erbe settled in and retired the next 16 batters. He struck out the side in the sixth and took the no-hitter into the seventh.

"I felt really good and the defense was making some great plays behind me," said Erbe. "Our shortstop [Ryan McCarthy] saved a hit up the middle in the first inning and I was able to get ahead of the hitters early in the count."

Erbe issued a pair of walks to start the seventh and Jeff Bianchi laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third. Anthony Seratelli followed with a grounder to first baseman Brandon Snyder, who hesitated before throwing home. Josh Johnson slid in with the tying run before Erbe -- the no-hitter still intact -- struck out David Wood to end the inning and his evening.

The 20-year-old left-hander has faced Wilmington twice this season, allowing only two runs over 14 innings. He yielded one run over seven innings on April 22 and had plenty of confidence in his second outing against the Blue Rocks.

"It helps a lot to get a good look at teams," Erbe said. "Wilmington likes to put the ball in play and they can wreak havoc on the bases. My goal was just keep them off the bases tonight. I was getting ahead of the hitters and they were putting the ball in play early in the count."

The former third-round pick admitted thoughts of a no-hitter crept into his head.

"I was thinking about it a little bit," Erbe said. "I walked those first two batters in the seventh on nine pitches and lost a little bit of my focus. I was in such a rhythm and started throwing the ball and kinda got a little ahead of myself."

Erbe went 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA in his first five starts this season, then surrendered 17 runs over 10 innings in his next three outings before turning things back around.

"The biggest thing is being consistent," he said. "I slipped away from my delivery a little and I was a little overconfident. I just need to stay within myself and my delivery."

Ryan Rodriguez (3-0) came on for the Keys in the eighth and allowed a one-out double to Wilver Perez to end the suspense. He tossed a scoreless frame and Chad Thall struck out one in a perfect ninth for his third save.

Miguel Abreu hit a solo homer in the fifth, his first, and Snyder broke the tie with a two-run single in the eighth. Frederick (31-35) went on to snap a four-game losing streak.

Starter Jason Godin allowed one run on four hits and three walks with three strikeouts over seven innings for the Blue Rocks (33-33). Tyler Chambliss (2-1) was charged with two runs on three hits in the eighth.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 12, 2008 7:17 am
Edited on: June 12, 2008 7:19 am

Kranitz to help Cabrera with woes; more news


BOSTON - Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz is attributing Daniel Cabrera's struggles the past two outings to problems with his delivery, which has affected the movement on his two-seam fastball.

In his past two outings, Cabrera has allowed 12 earned runs and 15 hits spanning 11 innings, squandering three-run leads in each outing. After allowing six earned runs to the Boston Red Sox in the series opener Tuesday, Cabrera said he's having problems getting his two-seam fastball down in the zone.

"He hasn't been as consistent with his delivery as it had been," Kranitz said. "And that's why we're seeing a little bit of the [problems] that have popped up the last few times out. He's not driving the ball down like he did. ... Sometimes guys go through little spells. I'm not worried about him."

Kranitz said that he's planning on showing Cabrera video of his complete-game performance against the Kansas City Royals from May so that he can see how his delivery looked then. Orioles manager Dave Trembley also said that he and Kranitz will tell Cabrera to throw his changeup and slider more in his next bullpen session, but the Orioles don't want him to change too much.

"The fastball is still his bread and butter," Kranitz said. "He can be a one-pitch pitcher if he uses his breaking ball at the right times. That's what he was pretty much earlier this season."

Interest in Broussard

The Orioles are interested in left-handed-hitting first baseman Ben Broussard, who was released by the New York Yankees, but only if he'd accept a spot with Triple-A Norfolk.

Broussard, a seven-year veteran with a .263 career average, is mulling several options and should decide within the next 24 hours where he will sign, said his agent, Darek Braunecker.

The Orioles offered Broussard a minor league deal last month after he was released by the Texas Rangers, but the 31-year-old signed with the Yankees.

Good signs

The Orioles agreed to terms with L.J. Hoes, an outfielder out of St. John's High in Washington who was their third-round draft pick last week. He is one of 20 picks that have agreed to terms.

Posted on: June 4, 2008 4:14 pm

2008 MLB Mock Draft

1. Tampa Bay Rays select: Buster Posey/C Florida State

2. Pittsburgh Pirates select: Pedro Alvarez/3B Vanderbilt

3. Kansas City Royals select: Eric Hosmer/1B American Heritage HS

4. Baltimore Orioles select: Brian Matusz/LHP San Diego State

5. San Fransisco Giants select: Tim Beckham/SS Griffin HS

6. Florida Marlins select: Kyle Skipworth/C Patriot HS

7. Cincinnati Reds select: Aaron Crow/RHP Missouri

8. Chicago White Sox select: Gordon Beckham/SS Georgia

9. Washington Nationals select: Justin Smoak/1B South Carolina

10. Houston Astros select: Yonder Alonso/1B Miami

11. Texas Rangers select: Ethan Martin/RHP Stephens County HS

12. Oakland Athletics select: Aaron Hicks/RHP-CF Woodrow Wilson HS

13. St. Louis Cardinals select: Christian Friedrich/LHP Eastern Kentucky

14. Minnesota Twins select: Brett Lawrie/INF Brookswood SS(BC)

15: Los Angeles Dodgers select: Casey Kelly/SS-RHP Sarasota HS

16. Milwaukee Brewers select: Andrew Cashner/RHP Texas Christian

17. Toronto Blue Jays select: Brett Wallace/1B Arizona State

18. New York Mets select: Jemile Weeks/2B Miami

19. Chciago Cubs select: Jake Odorizzi/RHP Highland HS

20. Seattle Mariners select: Tim Melville/RHP Holt HS

21. Detroit Tigers select: Gerrit Cole/RHP Orange Lutheran HS

22. New York Mets select: Shooter Hunt/RHP Tulane

23. San Diego Padres select: Anthony Hewitt/SS The Salisbury School(CT)

24. Philadelphia Phillies select: Zach Collier/OF Chino Hills HS

25. Colorado Rockies select: Jason Castro/C Stanford

26. Arizona Diamondbacks select: Ryan Perry/RHP Arizona

27. Minnesota Twins select: Issac Galloway/OF Los Osos HS

28. New York Yankees select: Ike Davis/1B Arizona State

29. Cleveland Indians select: Reese Havens/SS South Carolina

30. Boston Red Sox select: Daniel Schlereth/LHP Arizona


Category: MLB
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or